By Renee Larr
Students at St. Simon the Apostle Catholic School donated over 1,000 pounds of their Halloween candy this year to donate to our military service men and women. Each grade level has a dedicated service project to work on throughout the school year.
“Currently, it’s being facilitated by our 5th grade students. We’ve been doing it for about eight or nine years. The thrust of the project comes from Hillcrest Country Club from a group of women called The Guardian Angels. In 5th grade, they learn all about our Constitutional Rights and the development of the United States. We thought it would be perfect for us to tie in with their curriculum in support of how we have freedom because of these wonderful men and women who serve our country,” said Laura Mates, Assistant Principal.
The week following Halloween all 740 students from pre-k to 8th grade are encouraged to bring in their leftover Halloween candy. The candy is then sent to HCC to send overseas and across the U.S. Students even volunteer their own time before school.
“Every morning that we do the candy collection we have four or five 5th grade students that volunteer to come in early before school starts. They set up a table in our atrium and everybody brings in all their bags of candy. They put their names in a drawing for a little prize, and they weigh the bags,” said Mates.
The program has expanded outside the walls of SSACS.
“Even friends and family know we do it. They even bring all their candy to us so that we can bring it in. It’s really stretched out to the community,” said Mates.
Teachers get involved by donating $10. If they do they can wear jeans on ‘Military Mondays’ throughout the month of November. That money is sent to HCC to help offset shipping costs. Each year students aim to perform better than the past.
“The kids try to beat their yearly record. They exceeded well beyond with their expectations with over 1,000 pounds of candy this year,” said Mates.